July 1, 2012 will bring a lot of excitement and uncertainty for the NBA, its players, coaches, and fans, but one thing everyone can rest assured about; Tim Duncan isn't going anywhere. The 4-time NBA champion and 2-time NBA MVP will remain a Spur.
Duncan revealed his intentions to Yahoo Sports noting that he probably shouldn't have admitted that just yet. He joked that he should have "threatened" them with leaving to keep them on their toes, but then got serious saying "No...I'm not going anywhere. You can print that wherever you want to. I'm here, and I'm a Spur for life," he said.
According to USA Today, Duncan, 36, has been playing increased minutes in this year's NBA playoffs, which the Spurs have remained undefeated in. The team is now on a 19-0 win streak. The All-Star veteran predicts he has about 1-2 seasons left in him before he retires.
He was drafted #1 overall by the San Antonio Spurs in 1997, ESPN notes.
Spurs coach Greg Popovich, the only coach Duncan has played under throughout his NBA career, reflected on Duncan's transition from playing with David Robinson to playing with Tony Parker and Manu Ginboli.
"I'm very fortunate that I didn't have to deal with a star ego," Popovich said according to USA Today. He gave credit to Duncan for how smoothly and easily the team was able to transition from David Robinson's heyday to Duncan's own period of dominance and then to the emergence of Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili. Today, Duncan, Parker, and Ginobili make up the Spurs' "Big 3."
Popovich noted that when "Timmy" joined the Spurs, David Robinson understood what the acquisition meant to the team, and made it very easy for him to start to become the "go-to guy."
Popovich continued, "As Timmy got older, he understood the value of Manu and Tony and was able to share the spotlight with them. I never had a talk, I never had a discussion, a meeting or anything with those guys about that. We just did it and the process kind of morphed along. It was because of their character that we were able to do it."
The Spurs will play the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals Tuesday night, ESPN reports. The Spurs lead the series 1-0.